This summer, Dances of Vice presents a three-part series of nightlife experiences that pay homage to the legendary "sin cities" of the interwar period: Shanghai, Paris, and Berlin.
SHANGHAI in the 1920s and 30s tantalized the British, American, French and Chinese alike with its lawless streets and dens of sumptuous iniquity. Known as "the wickedest city in the world," artists, politicians, entrepreneurs, diplomats and the dispossessed roamed it's winding streets, chasing thrills at every turn. Strains of jazz mingled with Hollywood film music and Chinese folk melodies in the night air, while this heady sonic melange drew the ire of burgeoning leftist and Nationalist movements, who denounced these hypnotic new sounds as "opium for the masses."
The so-called "Paris of Asia" even surpassed its European counterpart with the sheer volume of drugs, sex, sights and sounds offered to bold adventurers from far and wide. Enter this paradise of the flesh with your wits about you: come as a boisterous mobster or his made up moll, a traveling aristocrat, foreign dandy, or an artist hell bent on delectation and exploration.
OVERVIEW: Fraught with tension and uneasy alliances, the interwar period saw a surge in devil-may-care decadence around the world, and no greater than in the legendary sin cities of Shanghai, Paris and Berlin. These oases of transgression, licentiousness and wanton abandon fostered some of the most magnificent art, music and performance of the 20th Century: no one knew how to celebrate in riotous ecstasy quite like these three. Together, the vibrant ballrooms and cross-cultural confluence of Shanghai, the bawdy cabaret halls and romantic revelry of Paris, and the unchained hedonism and kinetic frenzy of Berlin's nightclub scene conjured a trifecta of international intrigue and lavish libertinism - and in this seductive spirit of subversion, we extend our hand to you.
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